Fight H1N1

Wash your hands.

Wash your hands.

Wash your hands.

Back to school night

Last week we got to go visit Clark Street Elementary. Trevor was so excited to have us see his classroom and meet his teacher. He had so much he wanted to show us and it was fun to see firsthand what his classroom looks like.

Next we saw Natalie's classroom and looked at some of her work. She had a letter all written and waiting for us so we took a moment to write a note back to her.

At the other end of the school Anthony proudly showed off his locker. Now that he is one of the "bigger kids" he gets to use a locker.

All the kids love their teachers and it was great to get good reports on how they are doing in school. We had hoped to make it a quick visit so we could get kids home and into bed but I guess when you have three classrooms to visit that doesn't make it very quick. Michaela was so excited to tag along and had a great time visiting with her old teachers. She has adjusted very well to middle school but she still wishes she were back at Clark Street. Sometimes it's hard to accept the change and move on.

My new best friend

I don't usually play favorites but I have to admit that I have a new best friend at my house.

For the first time in my thirteen years of married life I now have a dishwasher!

It has only been around six days and I already don't know how I survived with out it! I did have to sacrifice a big cupboard and a large section of counter space but it was so worth it! The kids are so sure that now that we have a dishwasher I will automatically have all this extra time to play with them. Guess I better make sure I use my time wisely and play more with my kids!


Tougas Farm

Saturday we took a spur of the moment trip out to Tougas Farm to pick apples and peaches. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. We got to take a hay ride out to the orchard and then walk down rows of trees to find the best fruit. Now we are enjoying fresh apples and peaches and making plans to make pies.

Even Emersynne got to pick an apple. She nibbled on that apple for a long time got down to the seeds. She was not happy when I took it away!

We even saw the famous pumpkin tree. I pointed it out to the kids on our hay ride and I almost had them convinced that there really was a pumpkin tree until they walked up to it to check it out. Anthony was quick to point out to me that the pumpkins were tied onto the tree. Looks really cool though.

My girl

Emersynne is such a happy little baby and has learned many new things. She recently had her one year check-up and weighed in at 22 lbs 6 oz and is 31 1/2 inches long. Some of her likes and dislikes are:
--likes her feet
--doesn't like shoes or socks on her feet
--loves to eat shoes
--loves yogurt and cottage cheese
--doesn't like milk and refuses to take her sippy cup if it has something white in it
--likes to mimic people laughing
--likes to clap when she hears people cheering
--doesn't like being in the bouncy seat
--loves being mobile and getting into all kinds of stuff!
--loves to eat paper
--loves to swing at the playground
--likes to eat grass
--doesn't like to sit on the grass
And most of all, Emersynne loves it when her siblings are home from school and play with her!
We are having so much fun with her and it is hard to believe how fast her first year has gone.


Goodbye sumbeams

Sunday brought more changes and I had to say goodbye to my little sunbeam class and primary altogether. I feel lucky to have been in primary for so long and kind of felt that my days may be numbered. I am a little surprised at where I have ended up though. I didn't see that one coming but I guess that is quite often how it goes.

For the first time in sixteen years I am back in Young Women and will be serving as the second counselor. I have not been in Young Women since I left the program when I graduated from High School. It is a bit overwhelming knowing I have a lot to learn and get reacquainted with and it will be a bit of a challenge with schedule conflicts and the little ones, but I am excited to work with Michaela when she joins the young women and I'm very excited to work with the sisters in the presidency.

I am very sad to be leaving primary. So far I think that has been my favorite place to serve!


First Birthday

After spending the last two days on jury duty (see post below for more details) nothing was ready for Emersynne's birthday. Not that she would care or notice but her older siblings were rather upset that there were no presents for her to open. I got the school kids on the bus and then Abigail, Eme and I went to do some shopping. Abigail helped me pick out some things Eme needed ( shoes, socks, and a jacket) and then we picked out a few little toys. On the way home we stopped at McDonald's and got some fries and chicken nuggets. Abigail thought it was so exciting that I gave a french fry to Emersynne. Of course Emersynne really liked it but after two french fries I kept them out of her sight. I have probably created a monster.

First french fry

After dinner Jeremiah quickly got the cupcakes in the oven while I whipped up the frosting (i really only opened a can!) Emersynne was so tired but the other kids were so excited to have a little party. Of course Emersynne was more interested in the tissue paper than the presents but she seemed to have a good time. And of course she really LOVED her cupcake!

First cupcake

Sitting and more sitting!

Two days away from home has left me more than two days behind. Don't know really how that is possible but that's exactly what it feels like. It was a long two days away from home and away from my kids as well. I didn't even get to do anything fun and exciting. I just sat and sat and sat some more. I did learn that it was my privilege to be sitting but that didn't make it any easier.

Last September I got a jury summons. Since I was nine months pregnant I opted to go for the one time postponement of up to a year and rescheduled for September 2009. At the time that all seemed so far away and I was sure we would have moved out of the state and I would not have to deal with it at all. Not such luck for me. September 2009 came around and I wished I had gone to jury duty last year even though I was nine months pregnant. Somebody would have taken pity on me and sent me home right? Oh well we always seem to be able to make better decisions looking back.

It must have been my lucky day because I was selected to serve on a jury (first time for me) which required me to be away from home two days in a row. I'm just glad that was all it took even though it really could have been taken care of in one day. Everything just seemed to move in slow motion and the seven of us on the jury spent so much time sitting in a tiny room waiting to be needed.

It was not a fun experience. I missed my children terribly and had never been away from the baby that long before. I'm not used to sitting for hours on end. It was not pleasant to be forced to listen to things I really didn't want to hear about. The part I liked least of all was trying to figure out who was telling the truth when the defendant's story and the victim's story were so completely different.

But it's over and I try not to think about it anymore. I did learn a lot about the legal system and that part I found very interesting but the best part of all is that I won't be called to serve for another three years!

So now I get to try to get caught up from being gone two days. Wish me luck!


Trevor's big day

After a sad start, Trevor seems to love kindergarten. Wednesday was his first day and he was so excited I thought he would never settle down and get to sleep the night before. He awoke bright and early Wednesday morning and even did his chores without being told or complaining. Wish that would happen everyday! He really wanted to take the bus but I drove him on his first day so I could find out who his teacher was and see where is classroom was.

We met his teacher and I sent Trevor over to line up with his class and the next thing I knew he had huge tears rolling down his cheeks. I walked him to his class and got him settled on the rug with the other kids and said goodbye. He wasn't crying but he didn't look happy either. It was so hard to leave him when he looked so unsure of everything but I knew he would do just fine. Abigail had a hard time understanding why we were leaving him there when he was so sad. Several times during the day she would say, "Trevor sad"

So I spent my day worrying that Trevor was doing ok and having a good first day at kindergarten. I really had nothing to worry about. He was all smiles when he got off the bus and had lots to tell me about his new friends, his teacher, and his classroom. Looks like it is going to be a good year!



Summer comes back for one more hurrah!

We enjoyed an extended Labor Day weekend full of firsts for our family. The Green family invited us to join them on an excursion to York, Maine, where we would visit the Nubble lighthouse and have the best blueberry pie that Jennie and Adam have EVER had the pleasure of eating. The weather was glorious! A dazzlingly blue sky was peppered with fluffy cotton clouds that dappled the ocean with their shadows and provided brief respites from the sun. The Atlantic lapped against the huge rocks opposite the island on which the lighthouse stands, its pallid red light lazily blinking more than one hundred feet above the surface of the blue-green waves. We were delighted to have the Schultz family surprise us by joining our party, and doubly so when Ben bought a whole blueberry pie for us to share between the eighteen of us.

That's where I'm going to end the narrative of our first family outing in Maine. The obligate photos:

The Green family--so awesome to invite us!

Abigail got her clothes dirty before she was even out of the car

The red shirt and sunglasses is a look that works well for Tamara

I wish I had a red shirt and sunglasses

Natalie took what I think is the best photo of the entire trip

Christmas card material? I guess you'll see...

Don't tell Tamara where Abigail posed for this shot!

What is young Master Green so intent on studying on yonder shore?


Today we went to Quabbin Reservoir, one of the main sources of drinking watah for Boston. The weather was as delightful as it had been in Maine, and this time we coupled the long haul in the car with an arduous bike ride three hundred feet up the slopes of Quabbin Hill. It was quite a feat for some of the cyclists in the group with... less experience, but we made it. I think one of the highlights was a breather at Enfield Lookout, from which point a large portion of the reservoir and surrounding area was laid out in a breathtaking vista lit by a warm September sun.

Couldn't keep the kids from posing for this dam picture

How odd. Trevor looks strangely unfatigued...

The forever of the view still not as forever as the family

Poor Natalie is likely not to take us up on our next offer to join the family on a bike ride. She took a nasty spill, but came out with only a severe abrasion on one leg. Tamara, who was behind her when she went down, was amazed that she got out of it relatively unscathed, the "relative" referring to her bike, which looks like it will need some work.

We finished the weekend with not a first, but still a pleasant meal with our neighbor, Maura. Hot dogs and pasta salad apparently did wonders for Natalie's injuries and everyone (especially children) had a "healthy" appetite.

One more first for tomorrow! Stay tuned...


Summer comes to an end

I guess it had to happen eventually. Summer is officially over and the kids have had three days of school and are enjoying three days off to help them adjust. Things are very different for us this year. I'm used to having my school kids all at the same school but Michaela has moved on to Middle School. She was very nervous about the change but things seem to be going well. Probably the biggest adjustment for us all is the fact that school for Michaela starts at 7:10 A.M. and the bus comes at 6:55 A.M. Right now it's not too bad but I have a feeling that during the dark and cold winter months it will be much more difficult to want to be outside that early waiting for the bus.

Natalie was really excited for school to start and several days before the first day she had planned out what she was going to wear and how she wanted me to do her hair. Anthony said he wasn't excited but I think he really was. I guess he figured it's not cool to be excited to go back to school. I drove them to school on their first day and helped them find their class list. Natalie was very excited to have some of her good friends in her class.

Anthony was a little upset that his friends were in the other class but he has been making the best of it and trying to keep a positive attitude. We are wondering how to deal with the fact that Anthony is in the same class as a certain boy who has a knack for picking on Anthony. Poor Anthony has had to deal with him in the same class since first grade. I keep reminding myself that I can't shelter my children from everything and there will always be people that choose to treat other people poorly but it does make me sad and rather upset to think of Anthony having to deal with that everyday at school. Anthony has been keeping us posted and I am thinking of going in and talking the situation over with the school principal.

Trevor has had a little more quiet time at home as he watched the kids start out the new school year. This is Trevor's year and he is so excited to join the school kids. Kindergarten starts Tuesday and Trevor has had his backpack ready to go for several days. Watch out world, here he comes!